Exclusive My Story: Father Flash Made Me Pregnant
Exclusive My Story: by the Woman Who Is Expecting Father Flash's Baby
By Janice Burns
Baltimore Sun [Maryland]
February 9, 2006
THE married woman pregnant by her Catholic priest cousin yesterday broke her silence to reveal the secrets of their two-year affair.
Hilda Robertson, who will give birth this summer, told how the spark between her and Father Roddy MacNeil began when they were only youngsters.
Hilda, 41, was just a teenager when she first exchanged stolen kisses and cuddles with her cousin Roddy, then 20 and training for the priesthood.
But they kept their passions in check for more than 20 years until Hilda, by then a married mum of one, finally gave in to the charms of Father Roddy - a close friend of Princess Diana's mum Frances Shand Kydd.
Now Hilda has spoken exclusively to the Daily Record about how she is expecting his love child and has been abandoned by the priest dubbed Father Flash.
Hilda, who is still married to her husband Jim but estranged from him, said she would have to bring up the baby as a single mum.
Father Roddy, who was based in the Our Lady Of The Sea parish on the island of Barra, is now in hiding after being suspended from the priesthood in shame.
Hilda said last night: "Roddy told me he wanted us to have a baby.
"He told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and that he loved me more than anything in the world.
"But when I told him I was pregnant, he dumped me like a hot potato."
Hilda said the couple's love had blossomed over the years during family summer holidays on Barra.
The pair, whose mothers were sisters from the staunchly Catholic Hebridean island, were thrown together by their blood ties.
The quiet, shy youngsters played together on the white sand beaches with their other cousins and enjoyed games of hide and seek.
They were just like any other kids on holiday with their families but Hilda says there was always a twinkle in Roddy's eye for her.
Roddy was living on the neighbouring island of South Uist with his family and Hilda stayed in Glasgow.
Every year, both families met up in Barra to spend the entire school holidays together.
But that ended when Roddy opted for the priesthood aged just 12.
He then spent about seven years at the Catholic Church's Langbank College training for his vocation in life and only saw Hilda at family occasions during that time.
But when he moved to Newlands College on Glasgow's south side to become a curate at the age of 20, they became physically close, Hilda said yesterday.
Hilda was then a 16-year-old office worker who was taken in by her older cousin's "charming smile and charisma".
She would get a bus out to the college to visit him and they began kissing and cuddling as they walked along the street.
Roddy regularly stayed overnight at Hilda's family home in Glasgow and they had secret trysts in the living room in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep. Hilda said: loved his personality, his smile. He was very, very charming. We were like kids fooling around.
"Roddy and I had lots of childish romps but we never had sex at that time.
"He tried so many times but I ran a mile. I felt naughty enough without going the full way with him. He wanted to all the time.
"There was one time when he came sneaking into the room I shared with my sister and he said that he had to be careful to pick the right one.
"He told me he would meet me in the living room. He threw down a blanket and pillows and it got very passionate.
"I remember someone getting up for the toilet and putting the light on. I ran through to my room and we were lucky we didn't get caught."
After a while, the pair's relationship cooled off and they went their separate ways.
Hilda met her husband-to-be, heating engineer Jim Robertson, when he came to do some work at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Argyll, where she worked as a receptionist.
Within six months of their relationship beginning, Hilda was pregnant with their only child, Scott, and they were married in September 1984.
Her cousin, Roddy, officiated at both their wedding and the baby's christening.
Hilda made the focus of her life her new husband and child and became a devoted mother and wife for nearly 20 years.
She said she would have wanted more children but Jim, an only child, was happy just to have a son.
Hilda said she was happily married and both she and Roddy were getting on with their lives until her sister's Kate's wedding in 1997 in Barra.
By then, Roddy was the priest at Our Lady Of The Sea and Hilda says he made a pass at her at the reception. Hilda, who said Roddy had been downing red wine and Bacardi before coming on to her, added: "There had been little contact until my sister's wedding reception.
"I was happily married and getting on with my life.
"I never gave him a second thought, but it was Roddy that kept pushing and chasing me.
"At the reception, I went outside for a cigarette and he followed me.
"Roddy appeared on the scene and asked me if I wanted to join him for a quickie back at the church house.
"He was frisky because he had had a drink. He started pestering me for sex. I was gobsmacked. I told him where to go. I was spitting nails.
"I told him, 'How dare you expect me to throw away my life just for a fly romp with you?'
"I was so angry. I was disgusted and I told him, 'My God, you're supposed to be a priest, a man of the cloth. You are a disgrace.'
"Roddy liked his drink but would never get out of control.
"He had to keep that image right. I told him to get lost and went back to the table to join the others and enjoy the rest of the reception.
"I didn't tell Jim about that incident until much later. He was spitting blood too after he was told."
A year later, Roddy's sister Michelle got married but Hilda stayed at home with her family in Larkhall, Lanarkshire.
It was around that time that Roddy's friendship with the late Frances Shand Kydd, a devout Catholic who stayed on Seil Island, near Oban, was going well and they went on holiday together.
Hilda said yesterday she had no contact with Roddy after her sister's wedding in 1997 until her brother Calum was dying on Barra at the start of 2004.
She left husband Jim behind in Larkhall to be with Calum in his final days and, inevitably and fatefully, was thrown into close contact with her cousin and teenage sweetheart Roddy.
The couple made love in Roddy's church house for the first time just days before 41-year-old Calum died of heart failure on February 7 two years ago.
Hilda said: "I went home to Barra for my brother's last journey and for his funeral and that was when our affair started.
"Roddy was there doing his priestly duty, comforting everyone and listening and being there for the whole family.
"Calum's death really shook me. I was on a different planet. Calum's wife was pregnant when he died and he never got to see his fourth child. It was heartbreaking.
"I was a wreck. I was on an emotional rollercoaster and I began drinking in the days that led up to his death.
"I remember being in Calum's garage smoking again when Roddy walked in and we just hugged for ages.
"As we held each other really tight, he whispered, 'It feels like I've come home.' We talked for a long time that day. That was the point of no return.
"The first time Roddy and I had sex was days before Calum died. I was really vulnerable and an emotional wreck.
"I was hitting the bottle big style. So was Roddy but he was used to it.
"I remember the first time. We were sitting in the living room, talking, and he told me he loved me. It was about four or five o'clock in the afternoon.
"I remember we began kissing and cuddling then we went up to his room and had sex. It was very passionate and he told me I was his first.
"The sex was nothing special. I have had better but he made me feel like the only woman in the world with the things he said to me.
"I felt special because he was giving himself to me. I truly believed I was the first woman he had ever made love to.
"At first, it was awkward but he was very gentle.
"The first time I stayed the full night at Roddy's house, Calum died. The call came in the early hours of the morning from a family member.
"They said he had passed away and they were calling for the priest. No one had any idea I was lying in his bed at the time.
"I felt sick to my stomach. The guilt and deceit was unbearable and I fled the house."
Hilda told how she hid her affair with Roddy from husband Jim when he arrived on the island for Calum's funeral.
She said: "By this time, we had had sex on a number of occasions and we were seeing each other.
"Jim didn't suspect at thing. Well, he wouldn't because Roddy was a priest and I was a respectable and devoted wife.
"I know I was a willing partner but I think it was the loss of my brother and the emotional turmoil which made me cross that line. If he had come on to me at any other time in my life, I would have told him to get lost.
"Roddy took advantage of the situation. He had been trying for years to get me into bed but he waited until I was at my most vulnerable.
"He was bang out of order and I will never forgive him for that. He was the one that did all the chasing.
"If my brother had not been dying, I would have ran like hell from the situation."
Hilda admitted: "I cannot deny there has always been a sexual chemistry between Roddy and I
"But I always resisted it - he was my cousin and a priest. It was taboo.
"When we started making love, it was like the forbidden fruit and I got a taste for it.
"I felt naughty but there were all sorts of other emotions going on, like guilt and grief.
"During that time, when I was in Barra for my brother's passing away, we made love about half a dozen times at his house, in his bed and always with a drink inside me.
"The entire time, I felt I was in a daze, there was a sense of unreality about it all, like it wasn't really me who was doing this really bad thing.
"I was totally taken in by Roddy. He made me feel really special.
"He was so charismatic and was softly spoken.
"He had all the women in the parish falling at his feet.
He was a real charmer. Roddy had all the lines to get a woman into bed. He told me I was the one and only - always had been and always will be.
"I can't believe I was so stupid. I believed every word of it.
"He said that for the past 20 years he thought of nothing else but me. He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
"During our first love-making session, he said that he had 20 years of pent-up frustration."
After her brother's funeral, Hilda went home to Larkhall. She says she twice tried to tell Jim about her affair with Roddy but saw the pain in his face and was unable to go ahead.
She said: "This was the man I had spent 20 years of my life with and had a child to. I didn't set out to hurt him and didn't want to put him though that amount of pain."
Even when Hilda moved out of the family home last March, she did not confess her affair. Instead, she told Jim only that she believed their marriage was not working.
Hilda then went to live on Barra, where her relationship with Roddy deepened.
Before long, they were meeting at least three times a week at his church house.
But they were convinced no one suspected a thing because she was his cousin and had just lost her brother.
Hilda said: "I was head over heels in love with Roddy and was convinced I would be spending the rest of my life with him.
"His words were, 'Wherever I go, whatever I do, you are part of me and always will be. It's as simple and as complicated as that.'
"He had our lives together all mapped out. He would get a transfer to a parish on the mainland and I would be his live-in housekeeper.
"We could live together like man and wife and no one would ever know and he wouldn't have to give up his vocation.
"We even talked about having a baby together and he said he would love a child with me.
"We both agreed that I would come off my contraception.
"We were having unprotected sex for about a year before when I became pregnant.
"It came as a bit of a shock at first but I was over the moon. It was what we both wanted after all - the thing that would seal our relationship."
THE Record broke the story of how "Father Flash" was suspended from the priesthood after claims of an "inappropriate relationship" with a woman.
Roddy MacNeil was told by his bishop to quit his Western Isles parish, Our Lady Of The Sea on Barra, in December.
His stunned flock were told only that their popular priest, renowned for his sharp dressing and suave manner, had "taken time out to reflect on the future of his priestly vocation".
But we revealed that the real reason the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Ian Murray, had suspended him was because he was having an affair with a woman.
It later emerged that the woman MacNeil had been romantically involved with was expecting a baby and was also his first cousin.
Hilda Robertson had been seduced by the priest after she turned to him for comfort as her brother was dying.
She fell in love with him and eventually left her husband to live with the priest on Barra.
But he went missing when rumours of the relationship began to circulate on the island before Christmas.
One of MacNeil's parishioners on Barra said at the time:
"Roddy is a good-looking guy and very charming. The women in the parish were very taken with his stage presence."
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